Almost 30% of teenage girls are suffering from a ‘potentially serious mental illness’ in Australia, a figure that has risen by 6% over the past five years.
The report, which has been published in collaboration between ‘Mission Australia’ and ‘The Black Dog Institute’ revealed that 29.2% of girls in the country are facing serious mental illnesses, compared with 14% of males between the ages of 14 and 19.
Inequalities also exist between different ethnic groups, with research showing that 25.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Queensland faced mental health challenges, compared with 21.8% of native Aussies.
The reasons behind Australia’s youth mental health epidemic remain widespread. Stress, coping with issues like bullying, depression, social anxiety and body image concerns were all cited by respondents, although the higher statistics could also be interpreted as the stigma stifling mental health sufferers lifting.
Speaking following the publication of the statistics Catherine Yeomans, CEO of ‘Mission Australia’ said: “It may be we still haven’t adequately addressed the stigma that comes with people being concerned about their mental health, and so young people might be going to the internet because they’re too embarrassed or ashamed for having these feelings.
“We want to make sure they can quickly find evidence-based online support, and there could be some very sensible investments in self-guided, online psychological therapy to help people who are experiencing psychological distress.”
Helen Christensen, director of ‘The Black Dog Institute’ added: "These findings confirm that mental illness is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st Century, and one that has to be tackled by the community, health services and families."
These high statistics mean that the demand for child and adolescent psychiatrists has never been greater in Australia and neighbouring New Zealand. If you would like to help the country in its battle with mental illness register on our website today, for job alerts and all the latest global healthcare news.